Artwork worth framing!

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Kids Crafts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, May 14, 2012

I have been meaning to have my kids do some artwork that I could frame for quite sometime.  I finally decided this would be the week, no more putting it off.

My initial plan had been to let the kids use finger paint to create a painting on scrapbooking paper (or any paper that is acid free so that it won’t yellow over time) and then to let it dry and frame it for the wall.  However the homemade finger paint that I attempted to use was too thick I came up with a “plan B”.  I went to Target and purchased a frame with a mat.  I opened up the frame, removed the mat and allowed them to paint it any way that they wanted to with their crayola paints.  It was fun to see how great they both turned out even though they were so different!

We allowed the mat to dry and then I marked it with their name and date.  Then I chose a recent photo of them and placed it in the mat and put it back in the frame.  The end result turned out really awesome.  I love that I have both a personal art piece but I also see how old they were at the time that they created it!  I decided that they turned out so well that I purchased another frame for them to paint as a gift for my moms birthday.  An idea like this could also be fun as a class gift to a teacher (each child could add a few fingerprints or brushstrokes) with the class photo enclosed.  If you have additional ideas, please share and feel free to pin this post on Pinterest!

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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DIY: curtain rod art wall

By Ashley Devonish | Category: Creating a Home, Organize Me! | Posted Monday, May 7, 2012

Children’s art work is one of those things that most families with young children have plenty of.  it is finding creative ways to display, preserve and not get buried under it that can be a challenge. A few years ago I created an art wall in our home to display the projects that my kids would bring home from school.  This art wall has worked perfectly.  I love how easy it is to use, the way it proudly displays their work and the way it looks in our home.  The downside is that our children have now outgrown it.  Meaning, we have more art work than room to display it.  Plus our two youngest kids are soon going to be of an age to start creating their own artwork so this situation is not going to go away anytime soon (thankfully).  So it was time to come up with a second art wall option.  I wanted something that would allow me to change out the art easily and as frequently as I wanted.  I wanted something that would flow well with the look of our home and something that was inexpensive.

Here is what I came up with:

-Take a curtain rod and mount it to the wall.
-Use curtain clips on the rod to suspend the artwork.

The beauty of this plan was that not only was it easy to do but I was able to repurpose an unused curtain rod and clips from my garage!

Before:

After:

I know there are a pletora of wonderful ideas for storing kid’s artwork.  If you have a favorite idea I would love for you to share in the comments or on our facebook page!  if you liked this idea, consider pinning this post on Pinterest!

For some more ideas:

7 steps to organizing your children’s art

4 steps to creating an art wall in your home

Artwork worth framing

How we remember and repurpose children’s artwork from Simple Organic

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

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How to turn your child’s art into an adorable bookmark

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Home Crafts, Kids Crafts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, March 5, 2012

I just finished making my third “art bookmark” and wanted to share the process for those of you who may enjoy this unique and creative way to turn your child’s work of art into a useable gift.  Some of you may remember the instructions below that I originally posted in May of 2010.

Several years ago when my husband and I were house hunting I discovered something about myself.  I have a hard time “envisioning” what could be without having something of inspiration to start with.  Where he could look at a home and totally gut it and refinish it in his mind I had a hard time getting past the yellow carpet or ugly tile bathroom.  BUT if you give me a home decorating magazine with photos of adorably decorated homes and let me look at the same home again I can totally strip down and redecorate it mentally.  I need inspiration!  But once I have it, just set me loose and I will run free.

This perhaps is why I enjoy reading so much.  I love to be inspired by others who are doing something that I want to do better or learn more about.  I previously showed you how to make a memory tree out of reporposed fabrics which was a craft inspired by Handmade Home Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures written by Amanda Blake Soule.  This last week just before this book was due to be returned to the library, I was inspired by another project in this book–making bookmarks out of your children’s art.  I know that I said the memory tree was my favorite project of all time but this one is pretty great too, maybe it is my new favorite ;) !

What you will need:
-light colored fabric (the size depends on how many bookmarks you will make and what size you want them to be)
-felt for backing to your bookmark
-embroidery thread (the number of colors depends on your preferences)
-embroidery needle
-embroidery hoop (optional but very helpful)
-ruler
-scissors
-pinking sheers (optional)
-pencil or pen
-a budding artist
-sewing machine (optional)
-a ribbon or fabric scrap (perhaps some remaining fabric from your memory tree project or another outgrown outfit)

1) I started by cutting out my light colored fabric (3 inches across and 6 inches long).  However I found that cutting it first made it a little hard to hold inside my embroidery hoop.  In retrospect, it would have been easier if I would have cut out the fabric rectangle at a later step.  So I suggest that you mark out the area that you plan to use for your bookmark with tape or a pencil line (in order to help your child know where to draw) and leave enough room around the edges of the bookmark for you to easily hold it within your embroidery hoop.*

2) After cutting the fabric with pinking shears (this creates a cute look and reduces fraying) I taped the edges down to the counter and let Ashlyn draw a portrait of me.  I added the month and year at the bottom so I would remember when it was created.  *As I mentioned above, I suggest you wait to cut the bookmark out until later in the project.

3) Once the image is drawn, place the fabric within your embroidery hoop and cover the lines of the image with your thread.  I used about 3 strands of embroidery thread but using all the threads would have worked better to cover the pencil lines.  (For those of you who may not know, embroidery thread is comprised of several threads twisted together.  Depending on the project you may use differing numbers of threads.)  Ashlyn had fun choosing which thread color I should use for different parts of the image.  She also helped me pull the thread through the fabric.  Depending on the age of your child, see which parts they can help with and involve them as much as you can.  By the way, do you like my belly button:)?!

4) *This is the point in which I would suggest cutting your light colored fabric out using pinking sheers.

5) Cut your ribbon or fabric scrap in a strip that you can fold over so that both sides show the outside of the fabric.  I cut my fabric strip about 1 inch wide and about 3 inches long before I folded it over.  Again, I used my pinking sheers so that I wouldn’t have to hem the edges.  I had some fabric glue so I used this to adhere the ribbon together between the two layers that were folded over but this is optional.  (For my ribbon I used some left over fabric from one of Ashlyn’s outfits that I used for our family memory tree.)

5) Place your bookmark over your felt fabric and cut around the edge so that the felt is slightly wider than the top fabric.  You may wish to pin these two fabrics together to prevent them from slipping before you sew them together.  I will mention that at first I planned to adhere my bookmark to the felt fabric with fabric glue but found that this didn’t work well for two reasons.  First, the bond wasn’t holding well for me and more importantly, the glue was showing through the light colored fabric which I didn’t like.  Because this bookmark will be touched and handled a lot I think it is best to sew it anyway.

6) Sew your two fabric pieces together (I used a straight stitch) taking care to stitch the ribbon between your two fabric pieces at the top.  If you don’t have a sewing machine you could sew this by hand using your choice of thread.

7) Step back and admire your work!

8) Grab a book and try it out!  Here is the current parenting book that I am enjoying: Raising Your Children With No Regrets by Catherine Hickem.

9) Take a photo with your little artist and the project you made together!

For an alternate bookmark option that is super easy:

-Use some cardstock and allow your little artist to decorate it with stickers, stamps or a drawing.
-Add their name and the date.
-Cover it with some packing tape or laminate it.
-Punch a hole at the top and add a ribbon.

Both Hunter and Ashlyn have had fun making these simple bookmarks and sending them to friends and family in the mail with a handwritten note of hello.  It is a great way to use up extra scraps of scrapbook paper!

In my opinion these bookmarks make a very special gift (perhaps for Mother’s Day coming up).  They are personal, inexpensive and fun and will be treasured for years to come!  I hope you feel inspired. . .

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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